It was a cold night, and I woke up early.
Big thanks to the folks in the neighboring tent with the tea and boiling water for breakfast.
The more experienced and faster riders took off first, while the slower, novice, and “big bike” (BMW GS) riders, hung back and got ourselves organized.
Once underway we followed gravel roads that wound up through some farmy countryside into the hills. (Having lived out west, I have a hard time thinking of them as mountains, but I guess the Catskills are a mountain range.)
This was the first time I’d dealt with rocky surfaces, and I found that my mountain biking experience, particularly slow speed balance and technical riding was really helpful. You can’t just whip the bike around like you can with a mtn bike, but if you trust it, and remember that in most cases momentum is your friend, the bike will do what it’s supposed to. Several riders had unscheduled get-offs (two wheels aren’t stable when you’re only going 2mph), but I was able to negotiate everything without falling.
Turned out that the wide grassy area next to camp was actually a private airstrip. The campsite’s owner was a pilot, and took the weekend’s organizer up for a ride to shoot the camp. All of the tents and RVs to the left of the dirt road are motorcyclists taking part in the weekend rides.
One of the riders had organized a potluck for the evening. I brought Oreos (because, I mean… Who doesn’t like Oreos?), some folks brought roasted veggies (those were the folks that came in the RVs with bikes in trailers) but the highlight was the Spicy Curried Chicken that got cooked over the fire pit.